Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna--and readers--have long awaited?
This book is held back by a seriously embarrassing title and cover. I read reviews everywhere saying it was one of the best books of 2010, even comparing it to the love child of John Green and Maureen Johnson (which is, of course, a WIN). But really, that cover? Eek. Once I overcame my prejudice, OH MY WORD. If you like romance at all, you must read this book, even if it means taping it up in a brown bag.
This story makes me want to move to Paris, make awesome friends, and fall in love. And that's really all it sets out to do. What makes this book special is the way it brings Paris to life. I felt like I was nervously walking the streets with Anna, hesitantly trying out my faltering French. Never before have I wanted to watch an old movie in a Parisian cinema, but now I desperately do.
And the romance! Anna and St. Clair have a fantastic love story. It's not overdone like so many high school melodramas. They meet, become friends, have witty conversations, and slowly fall into a relationship. Which is how it should be done, I hereby declare, in all books everywhere (and in real life). Sure, St. Clair has a girlfriend. And towards the end, there's a little more melodrama than I like. But that's only for maybe twenty pages, and every other page is pure comic and romantic gold.
This book is perfect for any wannabe world traveler or old-fashioned romantic.
Five out of five chocolat chauds.
Release Date: December 2010
Reading Level: Grade 9+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: YPL PER